Cleaning a house can seem like back-breaking work, especially if you do it every day to make your living. Fortunately, you are unlikely to actually break your back as a cleaner barring an extremely unlucky incident involving some spilled detergent, a mischievous hamster and a precariously positioned piano right next to a faulty second story balustrade. (Even I’m not quite sure where the hamster comes in – just use your imagination, OK?)
Regular lower back injuries are, however, common in cleaners, due to the large amounts of bending, twisting, pushing, pulling and lifting they need to do.
Interestingly, those aforementioned activities are just what the human body is designed for! We are well-built to bend, twist, lift, push and pull, and regularly perform these activities throughout daily function. If our muscles have been allowed to weaken, and thus have reduced efficiency, however, this is where we run into trouble.
Where there is repetition, there is potential for overuse, and where there is overuse, especially in the presence of fatigue, poor coordination or poor technique (or a combination of all three +/- a hamster), there is potential for a lower back strain, which can put you on the sidelines for weeks. Lower back pain can, of course, be dealt with, but, as they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure (or 28.3g of prevention is better than 0.454kg of cure for those who are fans (and rightly so!) of the metric system!), so it may be worth your while to address a potential lower back issue before it even occurs.
Studies show that increased muscle strength and control can reduce the risk of lower back pain, so at the risk of sounding like a broken record, exercise is the answer!
So perhaps you should book an appointment with your LifeForce physio if you have an already-there lower back issue, or even better, to invest in precisely 28.3g of exercise- and evidence-based prevention!
Call 8289 2800 to make a physiotherapy appointment at LifeForce health solutions at Golden Grove, to see what one of our experienced and friendly physiotherapists can do to help with your work-related condition. Alternatively, send us a message or comment on Facebook or via our website, and we’ll be in touch!
Brämberg, E., Bergström, G., Jensen, I., Hagberg, J. and Kwak, L. (2017). Effects of yoga, strength training and advice on back pain: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 18(1).
Searle, A., Spink, M., Ho, A. and Chuter, V. (2015). Exercise interventions for the treatment of chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Clinical Rehabilitation, 29(12), pp.1155-1167.
Steffens, D., Maher, C., Pereira, L., Stevens, M., Oliveira, V., Chapple, M., Teixeira-Salmela, L. and Hancock, M. (2016). Prevention of Low Back Pain. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(2), p.199.